How would you define beauty? And what would you consider beautiful? Surely the Garden of Eden represents the epitome of beauty? Humans have developed a view of it in their minds and throughout the years have struggled with weeds to recreate a little piece of it. Yet no garden is the same. From Japan to England to Morocco, the concept of Heaven on Earth is personal and circumstantial – culture, climate and physiognomy of the land are variable elements.
But what does all this have to do with Clogs? Converting a visual representation of beauty into sonic language is not an easy task. Clogs, however, have succeeded in delivering that with their new album The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton.
The way I see it, each track is morphed and shaped as a different creature, each one unique and independent from the others but united in unison to the group as one, as if an umbilical cord based on love and bliss would tie them all together.
From the starting tune of ‘Cocodrillo’, built on choir vocals and harmonies as if the introduction of liturgy is being read, to ‘The Owl of Love’ where Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) stretches the concept of modern operatic style singing, each tune brings along a vast array of instruments like viola, mandola, or bassoon. This might sound like a project of chaos and clutter but it is far from it. Elegant, spacy, clear, crisp and sparse are elements that spring to mind.
Even if collaborators such as Sufjan Stevens or Matt Berninger could have managed to overwhelm such pieces with their mastery, it is the purity of each work that strikes the most and the soft and velvety quality of it all.
Words: Liane Escorza